BU Faces Difficult Test Saturday, Hosts Denver

BU v Denver

By: Dan Shulman

BU Men’s Ice Hockey vs. Denver (Non-Conference) Saturday, October 31, 2015

ABOUT THE OPPONENT

Location – Denver, Colorado; Mascot – Pioneers; Last Year’s Record – 24-14-2 (13-10-1 NCHC), 6-7-2 on the road, 1-2-0 vs. Hockey East opponents; BU is 14-13-2 all-time vs. Denver…Denver lost to Providence in the NCAA East Regional Final last season

PREVIEW

On Saturday, the Boston University Terriers welcome the Denver University Pioneers to Agganis Arena for the first time since October, 2011.

Denver, like BU, dropped its first game of the season to an unranked opponent in dramatic fashion, a 5-4 overtime loss to Air Force. Denver currently sits at fifth in the USCHO.com poll.

The Pioneers and the Terriers last met on December 29, 2012 at Magness Arena in Colorado. The U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game ended with a 6-0 win for the Pioneers. For the Terriers, it was their first shutout loss in over three seasons.

Danny O’Regan led the Terriers with five shots on goal. The teams combined for 29 penalties, with the Terriers registering a season-high 56 penalty minutes.

The last Denver visit to Agganis Arena was also a penalty-filled affair, with 20 infractions between the two teams. BU scored two-shorthanded goal early in the second period to jump out to a four goal lead, and held on to preserve a 4-3 victory.

This season, the Pioneers are led by Nolan Zajac (1G, 3A) and Matt Marcinew (3G, 1A). Last season’s leading point getter Danton Heinen has returned from his 45 point freshman campaign, recording five points so far this year.

In goal, Evan Cowley has been solid this season, posting a 1.51 goals against average and a .944 save percentage.

Both BU and Denver suffered 4-3 losses last night to Merrimack and BC respectively. While the Terriers failed to complete their comeback, Denver was gutted by a last minute goal from BC’s Matthew Gaudreau.

Both teams will be looking to salvage points for the weekend on Saturday.

PREDICTION

This will be the first real test of the season for the Terriers. Denver will be tired after skating against Boston College the previous night. The team with the stronger legs will win this game.

BU’s THREE KEYS TO THE GAME

  1. Score early
    1. Denver’s worst period is the first. It is important to get out to a fast start against a tough Pioneers team.
  2. Stay disciplined
    1. The Terriers must keep out of the penalty box against a very stingy Denver power play.
  3. Defensive Zone
    1. BU has to stay sharp in the defensive zone or it could be a rough night for Terrier goaltending.

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